This short course with Dr. Ted Davis (see the full course format here) presents key aspects of The Scientific Revolution, the period of roughly two centuries (1500-1700) when modern science took shape. First, Dr. Davis critiques the “Conflict Thesis,” both the broader historical claim that Christian theology holds back scientific progress and the narrower claim that modern science arose only as Christian beliefs faded into the background. He explains why almost all historians today reject that view. Then, Dr. Davis presents a brief overview of ancient Greek natural philosophy. Finally, he analyzes the story of The Scientific Revolution under five headings: the new world picture of Copernicus, the new world view of the mechanical philosophy, new sources of knowledge and new views of how to obtain it, new attitudes toward scientific knowledge, and new interactions between science and Christian faith.
Full course format: Please also see a full version of this course available here with about twice as much material provided.
Dr. Edward B. (“Ted”) Davis is Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Messiah University and a Fellow of the International Society for Science & Religion. An expert on historical and contemporary aspects of Christianity and science, Ted has lectured at dozens of universities and seminaries on five continents, served as president of the American Scientific Affiliation, been awarded research grants by The National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation, and been an advisor for exhibits at the National Museum of American History (“Discovery and Revelation,” opened March 2022) and the Museum of the Bible (“Scripture and Science,” forthcoming in 2023).
After earning the BS in physics at Drexel University, Ted taught science and mathematics at a Christian high school in Philadelphia, where he developed a deep interest in Christianity and science. He then completed a Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science at Indiana University.
To learn more about earning a certificate for this course, please visit “How do I Obtain a Course Certificate?” on our FAQ page. Our course certificates are valued by classical schools and co-ops worldwide, and you can also be on your way to obtaining an elective credit toward a Level 2 certificate with your completion of this course. Teachers certified with either ACSI or ACCS will see continuing education unit (CEU) credits listed on our course certificate for you to submit to either organization (with more information on certification credit here).